One of the hallmarks of the Hannibal TV series was the chemistry, and even sexual tension, between its two leads, Hugh Dancy's Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen's Hannibal Lecter. The will they, won't they persisted for all three seasons and culminated in a tender moment just before tumbling off a cliff as the series concluded. Speaking in a new interview, Mikkelsen revealed that they very briefly considered making their on-screen relationship fully romantic before their presumed deaths by sealing their fates with a kiss. They wanted to at least but in the end the implications that permeated the show were what made their connection stronger.
“We actually did a couple of takes of the very last scene where we were looking at each other, and it was a little too obvious — it was almost a kiss,” Mikkelsen told Vulture. “Me and Hugh were like, ‘Why not? We have a couple of takes. Let’s do one. It might be cool.'....We never went for the kiss. Bryan loved it, but he was like, ‘Too much, guys. It’s too obvious.’ And he was absolutely right. I think we were just stuck on that. And a lot of the Fannibals wanted it as well. It’s been a subject of homoerotic fan art. And for good reason, because they are so united as twins in many ways. But we never wanted it to be a physical thing. It was something much bigger than that.”
Mikkelsen also teased that even though this moment served as a fitting conclusion for the show, it wasn't the planned ending for Hannibal as a series (despite having been cancelled by NBC).
"We knew that there was a fourth season," the actor said. "We had something more up the sleeve, but then it didn’t happen. One could easily have imagined another life for the show had the cancellation occurred during the streaming boom. It was such a surprise to all of us because we did not have great numbers the first season, so we thought that was it. But we got saved and got a second season. And then in the third season we had much greater numbers. So we thought it was a given we would continue. And it didn’t happen."
Despite some years between the ending of Hannibal and now the series remains popular on streaming and the creative minds behind the show have spoken many times about wanting to return for one last go.
"Everybody wants to go back," Mikkelsen said. "And if there’s only one season and we’re sure about that, he can finish it in a proper, surprising, stunning way."
All three seasons of Hannibal are now streaming on Netflix